The first two phases of trail upgrades have been completed in Giant’s Head Mountain Park in Summerland. From left are Coun. Doug Holmes, Lisa Jaager of the Summerland Rotary Club, Linda Van Alphen, MP Dan Albas, MLA Dan Ashton, Mayor Toni Boot, Ellen Walker-Matthews, Tom Matthews and Coun. Marty Van Alphen. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

VIDEO: First phases of upgrades completed at Summerland park

Improvements have been made to Giant’s Head Mountain Park

The municipality of Summerland has completed the first two phases of the Giant’s Head Mountain trails redevelopment project.

In 2018, the municipality completed a trails redevelopment plan in the 87-hectare mountain park.

The plan was created in consultation with the community and was designed to balance recreation opportunities with natural conservation.

The mountain, near the centre of Summerland, is a popular attraction for hiking and cycling.

The project included upgrading 5.4 kilometres of trails, building 2.2 kilometres of new trails, decommissioning trails for erosion control and environmental protection, adding new guard rails, improving the park entrance, road pullouts and reinstalling viewing tubes and trail signage.

To protect the ecosystem values, a comprehensive environmental management plan was completed before the work began.

The Rotary Club of Summerland contributed $100,000 to the project and secured $445,000 of provincial Rural Dividend funding.

In addition, the club provided $26,500 for signage.

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“The Rotary Club of Summerland is pleased to have been able to provide funding from the proceeds and generous donations received through the annual Giants Head Grind – Christopher Walker Memorial event to partner in bringing this incredible project together,” said Ellen Walker-Matthews, Rotarian and founding char of the Giants Head Grind.

The total cost of the project is close to $800,000 and includes federal gas tax funds of $200,000.

The federal funding program, administered through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, delives funds to local government infrastructure and capacity building projects in B.C.

“Hiking is great exercise and conserving our natural environment is critical to having healthy communities, so I am thrilled to see the Giant’s Head Mountain trails redevelopment project is now complete,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

“The completion of the Giant’s Head Mountain trails redevelopment project will connect the Summerland community through a safe and accessible trails network, which creates recreation opportunities while protecting the area’s ecosystem,” said Selina Robinson, the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Citizens’ Services.

Bench Site Design provided consulting, design and contract administration services, and Cabin Forestry implemented the project.

“Last year Summerland celebrated the official opening of the Summerland Skatepark. This year we mark the completion of Phases 1 and 2 of the Giant’s Head Mountain trails redevelopment project,” said mayor Toni Boot.

“Both of these projects provide upgraded recreational amenities for residents and visitors and both projects were only possible through a collaborative effort between the district, funders and community partners.”

While the park is open to the public, the gate remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to allow more space for physical distancing.

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